The University of Findlay once again went above and beyond for this year’s Helping Hands food drive. UF has a history of being the top college in the nation and going well over their goal, which this year was 115,000 pounds. They ended up collecting 115,867 pounds of food, which topped last year’s total of 111,436 pounds.
Melissa Carrick, University of Findlay alum and UF’s Sodexo field marketing coordinator, tells how her experience as a student helps her plan this year’s food drive.
“It’s helpful since I’ve seen it before [and] I kind of know the set-up of it and I know the idea behind it,” said Carrick. “So with the planning, it made it easier too because I’ve actually seen how the event has come to fruition.”
The proceeds of this drive go to help Chopin Hall, a local Findlay nonprofit striving for a hunger-free and healthier community. They not only accept food, but clothing, various household items, money and volunteer time.
To motivate students, University of Findlay’s Sodexo created a challenge; whoever raises the most amount of canned food gets a place on the trophy.
“For the food drive, we do a lot of things to try to get the attention of students and faculty and staff. One of the biggest things we’re doing this year, it’s new, we’re doing a free tee shirt to students who donate 25 pounds or more, which you can do at any register around campus,” said Carrick. “And then for the faculty and staff, they have a challenge every year where they are competing to win the helping hands trophy… student affairs have actually won every single year.”
Dave Emsweller, Vice President for Student Affairs, said that employees in the student affairs office personally donate and work on the day of the drive to encourage others too as well.
“The food collected during this annual event helps to address an important community need that is always present,” said Emsweller. “While winning the trophy is nice, the real goal is to encourage the whole UF community to participate and make donations so we can surpass last year’s record.”
Aubrey Rains, sophomore physical therapy major, says that giving makes her feel like she’s a part of something bigger and makes her very proud to be a part of the university.
“After hearing how much was raised,” said Reins. “I’m happy to be about of our giving campus community.”